Red Velvet Cupcake Cones

Fuzz’s class is having their Valentine’s Day party this week and I offered to bring some treats. The problem is, I can’t decide what. Fourth graders are opinionated and like interesting things, so I have to choose carefully. Thinking red velvet cupcake cones might be fun, I made a test batch this afternoon using a very popular scratch red velvet cupcake recipe from McCormick.

Valentine Cone

After pondering over what type of butter to use since the recipe just calls for “butter” and doesn’t specify salted or unsalted, I opted for unsalted and left the salt amount at 1/2 teaspoon. I think that might have been a mistake. The cupcakes have the perfect texture and a good flavor (though not as twangy as my favorite red velvet recipes and definitely more chocolaty), I felt like they could have used whatever bit of salt the salted butter would have provided. Aside from that one little salt rant, the recipe is definitely worth making if you want a good, moist, scratch red velvet cupcake.

I used favorite cream cheese frosting rather than the one with the recipe so I’ve re-typed it below. I also baked the cakes in cones and tested a new trick I learned recently. To avoid soggy cupcake cones, poke a hole in the bottom of the baked cone cake to let steam escape. The cone should stay crisp.

Red Velvet Cupcake Cones
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Red Velvet Cupcake Cones
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (bleached) 11.25 oz
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, remove lumps
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 (1 ounce) bottle McCormick® Red Food Color
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed (or by hand) just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full or spoon batter into 24 plain flat bottom ice cream cones – fill right to the point vanilla ice cream cones becomes wider.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. If using cones, use a skewer or knife and poke a hole in the bottom (or on the side near the bottom) of the baked cupcake cone to allow steam to escape (helps prevent a soggy cone).
  5. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
  6. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  7. Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened butter and vanilla extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.
  8. Makes 24 to 30 cupcakes depending on method used.
  9. Note: To make ahead, bake and cool as directed, put cones in a freezer bag (remove any extra air from bag), freeze overnight, frost while frozen, serve a few hours later.


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  1. says

    I agree that these look great! Cupcake ice cream cones are the most memorable treat I ever took to school as a kid. Good luck with your decision!

  2. Holly says

    These look great! Thanks for sharing your crispy cone trick. I assume leftovers would have to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese in the frosting?

  3. Dee says

    Could these be made a day ahead or would they become soggy…even with poking a hole in the bottom?

  4. says

    Dee, I think they’d be fine on Day 2. I put a frosted cone cake in a closed tupperware bowl and will let you know how it holds up. I also froze a few unfrosted.

    Holly, I’ve kept things with cream cheese frosting out overnight and they were fine, but I usually refrigerate it.

  5. says

    Louise, I just bought a cupcake courier which holds 36 cupcakes. Unfortunately, it will not hold the cone cakes, so for the cone cakes what I did was cut little holes in a cereal box. I’ll take a picture of it when the cakes are ready to transport.

  6. Jennifer says

    Did the poking hole trick work? I would think, since the cone is sitting on it’s bottom, that the hole wouldn’t allow much steam to escape.

  7. says

    Jennifer, it seemed to work. I tilted the cupcakes a little so the hole wouldn’t be obstructed. You could just poke a hole in the side. I was trying to make it so the hole wouldn’t show, but it’s not really a big deal if it does.

    Now it did not work so well for the cupcake I frosted and left covered overnight. I think the moisture from the frosting made the cone soggy.

    What worked the best for make-ahead was to make the cones as directed, poke holes in the bottom (or side), let cool, freeze, then frost on serving day. I’m going to add that note above.

  8. says

    Do you stand the cones up on a cookie sheet to bake them? I would think they might tip over while I carry them to the oven….And they don’t burn? I’m thinking my niece would like this project, but it looks like it might be a little complicate…

  9. says

    And one more thing..would the baking and filling instructions be the same if I was lazy and used a cake mix?-Sorry if that is like chalk on a black board!!!

  10. Jennifer says

    Good to know. My daughter’s favorite kind of cake is red velvet and I’d actually cut out that McCormick’s recipe from a magazine ad. She’s at that age (16) where things that would have seemed baby-ish at 13, 14, now are cool again, so I think she’d like the ice cream “cones.”

  11. says

    I’ve seen cupcake cones done another way – make cupcakes as usual and put the cone on top before you put the pan in the oven. That way the cake is on top and not just down in the cone.

    I was actually going to make red velvet cupcakes tonight. I love red velvet. My recipe is a doctored cake mix though. Your recipes sounds divine!

  12. Upstate NY Native says

    You brought back memories of when I did these for my oldest son’s 6th grade valentine bake sale. I made 24 and they sold out in minutes and the kids that didn’t get one were so disappointed :-(( Fuzz’s class will love them.
    They are always a big hit even with adults. Yours looks really nice with the swirled icing and sprinkles.

  13. Angie says

    I made the cupcake cones this weekend with the Throwdown recipe. It’s SOO good, moist AND red. I am never going to use cake mix for red velvet cakes again.

    I would suggest poking a hole at the bottom of the cone instead of the side because a blob of cake will emerge after baking. Also, I was too excited with my first batch that all the cones fell over when I took them out of the oven and they weren’t ready. I think with the hole at the bottom, it helps steady the cones.

    I love your site!

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